LG looks like it might be about to spread its bets around the table, according to a new interview with Bulgarian LG communications executive Dimitar Vulev. The interview from Dnevnik.bg (via Engadget) offers up an unusually transparent look at LG’s upcoming product plans, as Vulev details what the company is working on both for the end of the year and beyond.
The comms director says that LG is keenly aware of the phablet phenomenon, as evidenced by the Optimus View and Optimus G Pro, and adds that next year there will be “an even bigger phone.” This is also seen as a transition to the company focusing on larger-screen tablet devices, including a device to be launched “probably” by the end of the year. LG had previously shuttered its tablet efforts, but Vulev says it’s time to re-enter since it’s a “growing market” that has become much larger in recent years.
Android remains the primary focus of LG’s efforts in mobile, he said, but Windows Phone devices are also in the pipeline, though likely not on tap for this year. When and if we see a Windows Phone LG smartphone make it to market depends on how Microsoft develops the OS, Vulev explained. This mirrors what LG India Managing Director Kown Soon said back in July about Windows Phone 8. LG previously made Windows Phone 7 devices, but like its tablet efforts, production was put on hold after shipment shortfalls.
LG is also working on a Firefox OS phone, diversifying its software picture even further, Vulev said. So far, the open, web standards-based Firefox OS mobile platform hasn’t really had a champion among the core, big-name smartphone OEMs, so LG releasing one in early 2014 (if Vulev’s information is correct) could really help boost its presence and visibility.
Vulev also said that LG will be releasing a smartwatch, perhaps sometime next year, to debut first in the U.S. market. It could come with a flexible display, and while he admitted that LG’s previous GD910 watch phone was not successful, he suggested that the market is much more primed now for such a product than in the past.
While most companies aren’t so candid about future unreleased products, LG’s regional execs have a history of being rather more forthright than most, so it’s likely this is a genuine peek behind the curtain. Whether it’s a smart, systematic bet on a number of different horses, or a scattershot attempt at relevance, will only be proven out by the quality of these products when they do actually arrive.
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